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Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

847 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 847
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 62
Gots: 96 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerTruth on 04-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shick1
shick1

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

11-21-2012 17:10:52 | More by shick1
Photo of BluBeers
BluBeers

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

03-19-2012 19:42:12 | More by BluBeers
Photo of wbischof
wbischof

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

03-02-2013 15:43:14 | More by wbischof
Photo of HamGlade10
HamGlade10

Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

08-08-2012 01:43:15 | More by HamGlade10
Photo of goblin7704
goblin7704

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

06-11-2013 22:17:20 | More by goblin7704
Photo of Rubihahn
Rubihahn

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

03-22-2012 23:25:21 | More by Rubihahn
Photo of ceberly
ceberly

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

10-04-2012 23:52:21 | More by ceberly
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper/amber color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong hops, sweet malt, slight alcohol, and a hint of raisin. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is really smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops up front, earthy malt comes through next, slight alcohol, and the finish is sweet malt and more hops. Wow, for a Barleywine fan and a big hops fan this is a great brew. Overall, this is a really tasty beer and I wish I had a SN Bigfoot to compare next, but I think this is just as good. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 01:51:05 | More by Tone
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is deep ruby almost a mahogany brown like color, with a large billowing beige head leaves fine bubbled lacing all around my glass with each sip in very even patterns. Aromatics are wonderful with layers of over ripened fruits reduced in a red wine with plums, raisins, and figs really standing out. Sweet waves of malts arise with hidden layers of hops I'm getting pine and citrus mainly, but the hop profile is so well played here. Flavors blend so harmoniously with abrasive big hop additions leaving slick bitterness throughout each sip, and big chewy malt layers of caramelized brown sugar with fruit additions again naming the figs, raisins, and plums. Complex hoppy flavors blend into the huge malt profile with herbal, citric, and coniferous qualities. A great barleywine as complex as all hell while still remaining painfully drinkable. Mouthfeel is huge with residual sugars sticking to the palate the hop oils from the boil and dry hopping really help lubricate things a bit. Carbonation is dead on even with every sip yet there's enough to send hop burps your way, like I said big chewy body. Drinkability is amazing especially for a barleywine at 10% I could get mangled on this brew without ever realizing my glass was being emptied. Even if your not into the bigger beers this one forms it's own path and really opens my eyes, well made I definitely applaud Southern Tier's latest efforts with all of the Imperials. By the way this was in a 22ounce bottle with a twist cap, WTF? Picked it up in Boardman, OH at Vintage Estate for 6.99 easily would have paid 13 without thinking it over down here in the Burgh thank god for Ron Bush and company. This was one of the Southern Tier's I never found in the Burgh.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 19:28:07 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of wkcyr4
wkcyr4

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz. bomber into a Brandy Snifter:

A: Amber body, thin tan head, a little bit of retention on sides of glass.

S: Bourbon like, woodsy aroma very sweet and inviting.

T: Boozy, strong alcohol taste. Sticky much like an aged DIPA to me. I love it!! Leaves me wanting more.

M: Smooth, syrupy and full. Caramel notes come to the front upon letting it warm.

D: Easy sipper, for sure, but be careful not to get too confident or this one will bite you in the ass ! Very drinkable, in moderation of course.

I like this very much. It warms you on a cold Illinois evening. Only wonder how it would be after some lay down time? I believe this will be the only indulgence of the night. A solid effort from ST. Very strongly reccommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 01:14:44 | More by wkcyr4
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Screw top bottle with a painted label that actually fell apart in me hands. Looks like the paint fell apart. Anywho: Kettle hops: Chinook, Aroma Hops: Willamette, Dry Hops: Amarillo, Centennial.

Fills a glass with an ominous dim ruby aspect topped with a pillowy fluffy antique white dense cap leaving some residual gooey drippy lace in the glass.

Nose offers up a brilliant fruit cornicopia of dates, figs, dried apple and a plethora of deep sugary tones like cherry cola, pineapple, caramel and spice wafer.

First swigs: Delectible (5/5 worthy?) vertual candy of caramel sweet thick viscous deep maple syrupy waffle, candy apple, figs, raisins, WOW! This is a pizza with the works!

Thick full bodied beauty here with a lot to offer. Sticky linger of copious sugar residue.

Last swigs: Brilliant Barley Wine that reminds me of a cross between two gems: Old FogHorn and BigFoot. More of BigFoot than Old FogHorn but two barley wines that wrote the book. Top notch BarleyWine!!!!

Beer is good. Happy big barley beering.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2007 10:09:30 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of generallee
generallee

New York

4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from tap into a small (10 or 12oz) nonic pint glass and served right at the brewery in there own bar The Empty Pint.

Appearance: A small finger of just off white head sits on top of a mahogany reddish brown colored beer. The body looks thick and blurry when held up to the light. Its head quickly fades to a slick ring of lace.

Smell: In the nose I get a big blast of sweet, rich, bready and somewhat fruity malt. Hops can also be found in the nose and they add just a touch of citrus.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is like caramel covered raisins and baked apples with hints of plum and nectarine wrapped up in sweet bready and pie crust like maltiness. Add to this a nice warm boozy character and some mellow hops with modest notes of citrusy grapefruit rind and herbal bitterness. It feels quite firm on the palate and smooth but still lightly carbonated. (slow sipper)

Notes: When I think Barley Wine, this is about what I think of. It has loads of malt complexity first, which is then backed up with hops. Backburner is a very enjoyable Barley Wine!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 20:10:30 | More by generallee
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big and well done.

A-Deep brown/mahogany...creamy 1/8 inch tan head.

S-Very hoppy aroma...sweet candied tropical fruits...also some toffee like malt.

t-Sweeter style BW which I enjoy....toffee like maltiness...also some berries, molasses and brown sugar....the hops are more of a secondary player on the taste but they still lend a nice sweet candied fruit presence.

M-Big and rich....full bodied...very creamy...what I expect from a BW..finishes smooth and sweet but not cloying.

D-Hell of a beer here. I love the rich malty BW's but what this one lends is a fantastic hop feel while never become extremely bitter. Top notch BW

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 06:05:38 | More by ZAP
Photo of aaronh
aaronh

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Richly colored body topped by a thin cream head. Aroma of malt and alcohol sweetness dominate - a bit of earthy hops in there as well. Flavor is excellent. Nice balance of caramel, biscuit, and toffe malt flavors tempered by smooth hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Drinkability is very nice, but it's tough to drink more trhan one bomber of this in an evening. Another great opffering from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 00:14:00 | More by aaronh
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malts, fruit, a good amount of hops and a little bit of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet up front with strong flavors of brown sugar, caramel & dark fruit. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. There's a hearty malt character and no trace of the alcohol that you get in the smell. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a really good beer to drink for a long time and yet another excellent big beer from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 03:10:27 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BMoney575
BMoney575

Texas

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 9-14-09

Pours an ultra-cloudy red/brown color, with a thin white head that bubbles away. Boozy looking, with no lacing whatsoever.

Smell is great strong malt and super booze, with a hoppy fruitiness to keep things even. A year in the cellar has added just the right amount of age.

Taste huge booze, in a good way. Lots of peaty malt, a little smoky, tons of bitter hops, and slight coffee at the very end. One of the best I've had.

Mouthfeel is dead nuts for the style, slick to go with the hops and alcohol.

Drinkability is quite good, considering.

Overall, an impressive Southern Tier. Get some, but age it first.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 22:48:17 | More by BMoney575
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into 34oz mug. Clear orange/red with a moderate white head that sticks. Smells mostly of hops, but with a strong malt presence providing some bready scents. Taste is all over the place; smooth clean malt sweetness at first, then slightly minty hops, warming alcohol, and finally a slightly yeasty finish. This is a big beer; just what I'd expect a barleywine to be. Mouthfeel is full and a bit creamy, moderately carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 04:43:10 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of beckje01
beckje01

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark amber with a light thin head.

S- Wonderful caramel and malt with a hint of the booze.

T- Nice taste hides the ABV very well, nice and mellow. Very good flavor.

M- Great thickness and perfect activity.

D- Very drinkable it's a slow sipper but you don't want to stop. The best thing about this beer is it's great fresh no need to age it like other barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 07:30:20 | More by beckje01
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful 22 oz. bomber poured into a chalice...

A- Browns, oranges, reds, all tied into one. Little bubbles of carbonation floating to the top- thing cream colored head.

S- Melted caramel, raisons, malts, sugar

T- Malts of all flavors (big sweet and sugary flavors), oak, nut, vanilla, dried fruits, nutmeg, and HOPS. The hops were not upfront to me, but got me on the back end. No alcohol flavor whatsoever. P

M- Mouthfeel was very light and sleek. Easily sipped.

D- As drinkable as a barleywine will get. This is as good a barleywine as I have ever had. Smooth, complex, sweet, balanced, fruity, hoppy. Everything a barleywine should be.

Very recommended for the BW lovers out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 01:50:06 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of sawbones420
sawbones420

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a complete slut for Southern Tier, so I'm getting around to reviewing all of their bombers, slowly. I don't drink much barley wine these days, mostly on account of the fact that they make me feel like hell the next day, even when keeping my consumption way down. Southern Tier makes me so happy, however, so I'll take my chances on a Sunday night...

What the hell is an Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale anyway?

Pours a dark mahogany color into my trusty Brooklyn Brewery snifter (my favorite glass of all time). Head? No. I'm starting to think my dishwasher leaves a thin film of soap on my glasses though, as I almost never get much in the way of head retention.

Smells deep, dark, complex. Fruit, hops, sweet malt and alcohol come through. Most notable are those hops, though. Not used to such a strong presence in a barley wine.

First sip is potent. A robust malt flavor hits the sides of the mouth, while the sharp hop presence centers the brew nicely. There's a whole lot going on here. The alcohol warms the back of the tongue and the throat as it slides down, leaving quite a bit to think about. On another sip caramel comes through prominently in the middle part of the tongue. Sweet to be sure, but not too heavy/syrupy to make you feel bloated.

I love beers where every sip offers something new and different from the last. It's interesting how your mouth adapts to this brew as you drink it. Definitely an awesome take on the style and a must for anyone who considers himself a fan of barley wines.

Oh and the burps taste like hops. mmm

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 02:46:41 | More by sawbones420
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown colored brew, think and murky. Bubbly tan head. You dont even need to hold the glass near to smell the think malts coming out of that glass. Stinks of dank syrupy malts. Hot damn its a goodin. Thick malts stick to your throat. Nice load of bittering hops. Alcohol is there, and its spicy. Dark fruit tones. Its a big beer, theres no doot aboot that one. Thick and crunchy, very full mouth. Fairly sharp on the tongue. A no-shit beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 06:25:50 | More by Tballz420
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- About a 1" tan head on a kind of clear dark brown and amber body. Great head retention and thin lacing covers the top with a nice collar and sticks to side of glass.
S- Huge hop aroma along with a bunch of sweet caramel and toffee malt, alcohol comes through nice and big too, some pine and light citrus, some breads also.
T- Sweet caramel malt back bone with a ton of hops that are holding on to the malts. Pine and some grapefruit make up the hop profile and leave a nice big bitterness on mid of tongue. Breads, and alcohol come through very nicley. Nothing over powers the other even though they are all big flavors.
M- Full body with low carbonation that tickles the tongue.
D- It is a very nice barley wine and refreshing to have one after not have one or a good one in about 7 months. I would get this again and can only OAT can be as good as this.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 06:00:08 | More by BlindPig
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$6.99 for a 22oz bomber at the newly relocated Beverage Shop in TC. Brewed with 2-row pale malt, light and dark caramel malts, and hopped with chinook in the kettle, willamette for aroma, and dry hopped with amarillo and centennial (oooh, two of my favorites!)

10% ABV, OG=23 plato, 15Lovibond. Funny. The bottle is stamped with the specs as per Rogue tradition, but as the condensation forms, the letter slip off and you can rearrange them like you would refrigerator magnets.

Pours out to a clear deep rich mahogany, forming a tall off-yellow head with excellent retention and good lacing. Carbonation is medium. The aroma is hop-a-licious. Loads of sticky, piney, resinous, hops with loads of chewy sticky sweet malts. The mouthfeel is bold and beautiful, soft, chewy and very satisfying. The taste starts with the big resisnous hops, but they are not harsh not overwhelming like an Arrogant Bastard can be. This gives way to a big estery profile with lots of dark over-ripe fruits...apples and cherries are big. Followed by brown sugar, roasted nuts, and a moderate herbal bitterness which is nicely balanced for such a big beer. The aftertaste is of herbal hops bitterness, leather, and raisins.

This is a very nice barleywine. It's a big beer, but it's easier to drink than most. It still has a big hop bill, and isn't quite as sweet as some of it's English bretheren, but I would gladly buy it again. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 22:38:57 | More by Mitchster
Photo of NewGeneric
NewGeneric

California

4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to the city of Chicago for hookin it up.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Deep ruby hue topped with beige head that recedes quickly and leaves scattered lacing around the glass. Minimal foam resides on top.

S: Very hop forward with serious, earthy hops followed by mountains of caramel goodness. There is some toastiness and mild dark fruits present as well. Quite pleasant.

T: Mild earthy hop bite up front, succeeded by extreme malt. Holy cow! This is a malt bomb! Sweet, sweet caramel dominates. Very good.

M: Really nice body, and almost no noticeable alcohol though. Bitterness and carbonation seem to be almost perfect. Incredible feel for a barleywine.

D: Mmm...what else can I say?

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 08:14:03 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Cloudy, brownish gold with lots of tiny bubbles coming up the sides of the glass forming a thin, off-white head.

S- Caramel malts with some fruitiness (maybe golden raisins and apricot), faint note of floral hops and a note of alcohol as well.

T- Big caramel malt base with some notes of molasses and a nice warming alcohol presence.

M- Full and smooth body with a nice carbonation.

D- Really enjoyed this one a lot; a great sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 13:04:52 | More by TommyW
Backburner (Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.